First, let us say a heart-felt thank you for sending your kids, siblings, friends, roommates, girlfriends, boyfriends, partners, spouses, and parents off to the Juneau Icefield! We who have been at JIRP before know that a field season as long as ours involves significant sacrifice by not only the participants, but also by their loved ones. The goal of this page is to serve as your personal portal to the world of the Icefield and how to get in contact with your JIRPer for both urgent and non-urgent communication.

Emergency Communication

We have staff in Juneau - in phone contact - all summer.

In an emergency, please call 907-500-8913 to speak with a JIRP staffer.

Our staff can get messages up to the Icefield several times a day and will help you figure out the best way to contact a loved one in an emergency. Depending on the circumstance we can provide participants with satellite texting capabilities (text messages that go straight to your cell phone), a satellite phone conversation (voice calls that goes straight to your phone), or an evacuation. We cover the charges associated with texting and voice calls. We will discuss with you the costs associated with an evacuation.

In the event of an emergency at home, we do everything in our power to provide students with the emotional support they need in the field.

Non-emergency Communication to the Icefield

There are helicopters going back and forth to the Icefield once or twice a week. Some carry personnel, some carry groceries or research equipment or barrels of gasoline, but every single helicopter brings mail back and forth. Space is limited so we will only send up flat envelopes. We will hold anything larger than a flat envelope in town until the end of the summer. To send mail to the Icefield, please address it to our Juneau P.O. Box:


Name of Participant

c/o JIRP

P.O. Box 35054

Juneau, AK 99803


The ‘flat envelope’ restriction means we prefer letters, but some other items also work well: Tea, chocolate bars, fruit leather, newspaper clippings, printed out photos of what’s happening at home, etc. Think outside the box! If it’s basically flat, it will work. JIRP students and staff especially (because they’re out for a full eight weeks) genuinely appreciate news and small tokens from home.

Please do not send anything perishable.

Communication from the Icefield

JIRPers are encouraged to write letters home as often as they like, and there is a great deal of significance attached to the responsibility of handing the mailbag to the helicopter pilot (who gives it to the dispatcher in town, who gives it to our Juneau staff, who take it to the post office). Mail leaving Alaska can get delayed in the postal system, so please be patient with letters than can mysteriously disappear for a week or more before appearing at their destination.

While you’re waiting for word, follow us on instagram and on facebook for photos from the field! Students and staff compile photos in the field and send them down on a flash drive on the helicopter. Then the Juneau logistics staff can upload them every few days and give everyone a snapshot of how the field season is going. We use instagram most heavily because the format works well for sharing photos.

For people without an instagram account:

You don’t need an account to see our photos. Just head to and see what’s there.